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Old 11-04-2015, 11:56 AM   #1
64waves
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2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2000 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Roll Eyes Power steering pump?

Good morning, 2000 LS2 V6, 303K. Only drive the car once a week now, but last time I tried to drive it I noticed the power steering groaning like it was empty. When I opened up the reservoir it was regular level, but was the color of chocolate milk. I also noticed a trail under the car, think it was coolant, and something was smelling like it was overheating. Need to take another look at the engine and fluid levels, but sounds like something really serious this time. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 11-04-2015, 12:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64waves View Post
Good morning, 2000 LS2 V6, 303K. Only drive the car once a week now, but last time I tried to drive it I noticed the power steering groaning like it was empty. When I opened up the reservoir it was regular level, but was the color of chocolate milk.
A constant "groaning" from the power steering while the fluid is at operating level is likely to indicate a worn pump. This is a common symptom. If the color of the fluid in the pump is rather dark and the fluid has never been drained and replaced then what you're seeing is to be expected.

...
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Changing the fluid may bring some relief to the situation, especially given your description of its color. PS fluid should be changed at periodic intervals anyway, so sounds like yours is way past it's Best Buy date.
Changing the fluid will cost you less than swapping out the pump. Do the cheap route first.

If you have a coolant leak, check the coolant level and that will tell you if you are losing coolant. Once again, antifreeze does not last forever and again should be changes out at periodic intervals.

Even if you are not using the car as often preventative maintenance should still be done.

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Old 11-13-2015, 11:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

I keep hearing this over and over.
"Change the PS fluid is necessary".

I have never changed PS fluid on any car.
My 96 Suburban has over 321K on it's original pump.
No leaks ever, no sounds ever.

My 98 Satty 215K never changed the fluid.
My other Suburbans each had 215 to 225K before they rusted apart, but no change out and no failures.

However, that said, I would agree to the advice to change out the OP's PS fluid since it's intense color change probably means contamination....water or ??

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Old 11-16-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Good morning, I took another look at it over the weekend, PS was empty, put some in, and when started significant leak of PS fluid on passenger side toward front. Coolant is lower. I started car and just moved it back a bit so the car didn't block a side entrance on my driveway. It didn't run long but immediate leak evidence.

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Old 11-16-2015, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

With an immediate leak being evident after refilling the reservoir and running the engine then it shouldn't be too difficult to trace down its source. Please excuse me for stating the obvious as I mean no disrespect. The sources for leaks in a power steering system are the pressure and return hoses, (piping, if any), pump/reservoir, or rack and pinion gear. Least common among these is the rack and pinion gear and the most common is the high pressure power steering hose.

In order to find the cooling system leak more precisely you'll need to have a pressure test performed. I've found that the local O'Reilly's A/P store doesn't have the necessary adapters included with their loaner cooling system pressure test kits to test our vehicles. I don't know if this is true of other stores, but it seems that our set up is less common among cars out on the road.

...
294,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 11-16-2015 at 01:52 PM.. Reason: additional information

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Old 11-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Can we clarify that there are TWO separate issues in this thread;

1) Groaning PS pump and leaking PS fluid

2) Loss of coolant and coolant color of chocolate milk


PS Pump Groan.
As Pierrot said, there are not places the PS fluid can leak from. Hoses and Rack. It should be fairly easy to determine where that leak is coming from by getting under and investigating.

Having had a PS hose burst on a previous car, when the engine is running you can blow out the bulk of the fluid and ruin the pump is quick sticks.

Coolant Loss
If coolant looks like chocolate milk, that is oil and water mixed together. That could well the a blown cylinder head gasket.

The poster says they only drive the car once per week now. So either it is not their main car OR the driver doesn't do much driving now, which may indicate a senior driver.

If it is the latter, then rolling around under the car my not be something they can or want to do. In that case, I would recommend taking the vehicle into a garage they can trust and get it inspected, determine the respective causes, cost of repair and then move from there.

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Old 11-27-2015, 08:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Good morning, I do have ramps and can get the car up if I need to. Have to check the Haines manual to see how easily the PS pump can be replaced. The light chocolate color was in the PS fluid reservoir, think it was air bubbles making it do that. Coolant is just low. I am thinking there is a coolant hose that needs some attention.

So I will just stay on the PS leak here. I will check my manual and see what is next.

I have 3 Saturns, this one is my truck, have had it since 37K miles, it has 303k now. I got a second one when I dealer tried to jerk me and say it was toast, when it was just PCV hoses being clogged. A Friend sold me their 2001 2.2, so I have a fleet. I use the 2.2 to commute to work.

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Old 11-27-2015, 02:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64waves View Post
Good morning, I do have ramps and can get the car up if I need to. Have to check the Haines manual to see how easily the PS pump can be replaced.
It is not a easy removal on v6 for i4 I am not sure but the Haynes will tell you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64waves View Post
The light chocolate color was in the PS fluid reservoir, think it was air bubbles making it do that.
Ok this doesn't sounds right air bubbles? Something is wrong here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64waves View Post
Coolant is just low. I am thinking there is a coolant hose that needs some attention.
This should be check each on monthly basis I think but this depends on your driving conditions and climate you live in and hoses checked yearly depending on the driving conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64waves View Post
So I will just stay on the PS leak here. I will check my manual and see what is next.

I have 3 Saturns, this one is my truck, have had it since 37K miles, it has 303k now. I got a second one when I dealer tried to jerk me and say it was toast, when it was just PCV hoses being clogged. A Friend sold me their 2001 2.2, so I have a fleet. I use the 2.2 to commute to work.
It never hurts to have a reliable one when you need it.

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Old 12-03-2015, 02:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Power steering pump?

The new PS pump is on it's way from Rockauto. Haynes manual says take off air filter housing, and pulley is just below it. I can see the pulley, it's not too far from the top of the engine. We will see.

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